Held-back HD Film to Go to Blue-ray, HD DVD

Some motion pictures, for a variety of business reasons, go straight to DVD and skip the theater circuit altogether. But independent filmmakers Big River Pictures and Cinemarr Entertainment say the firms' first joint venture--"Bell Witch: The Movie"--was shot in HD and will be released on both HD DVD and Blu-Ray Disc in September.

Most of film was shot in HD in 2002, and never went down the theater route, but director S. Shane Marr (who describes himself as a "high-definition purist") said the film's release was held back until HD viewing capabilities were more readily available to home viewers. He said on the film's Web site, "We shot 'Bell Witch' in 24p 1080 undefined...but we decided to hold the film until it could be released in HD so that people [at home] could see it as it was meant to be viewed."

The completed movie was screened in 2005 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn., Marr said, using a Sony 4K HD projector. It was the first time that projector had been used for a public viewing, according to the director. (According to the movie Web site, the film has been available at some video rental shops, apparently on standard DVD.)

The movie follows the legend of the Bell Witch of Adams, Tenn., in what the producers call "a historically documented haunting" that took place in the early 19th century.